Continuing our translations of Puyo’s blog posts, we have part 4 of his series about calling tiles.
The next three articles talk about basic technique for pon/chii hands, starting with pons.
Pons and kanchans
You can pon from three players, but kanchans can only chii from the player to your left, so we should favor shapes that let us pon.
Throwing or here gives the same ukeire, but if we have called we must throw the . The reason is that can only be called from our left player, but and can be ponned from all three players. Please remember this type of shape.
Strengths and weaknesses of pon material
The pairs we use to pon are called “pon material”. We rate them according to how easy it is to pon them. Usually, terminals, no chance tiles, and tiles that are hard for others to utilise are good.
If none of the relevant tiles are in the pond, here we should throw . This is because is close to the dora, and so it will be rare for players to throw it. Therefore, this is the weakest pon material in the hand. Even if one has been played, I still think we can throw .
Pon material quality is an important consideration when deciding between toitoi and chitoitsu.
Although this is 1-shanten chitoitsu, if someone plays haku, we can pon it (after pon, we play according to the above criteria)
The reason is that , , and are very good tiles for calling pon, so going for the open hand won’t be worse than chitoitsu.
However if the hand was
This is also chitoitsu 1-shanten, but the pon material is very bad in this hand. Aiming towards chitoitsu is better than calling pon here, as it is unlikely that we will be able to pon the other groups to advance the hand further.